Stupid Girls

Saturday, July 31, 2004

I woke up, laughing

You are reading

I felt tendrils of angel hair, brushing my shoulder. I felt warm breath on my neck. I heard contented, womanly sighs in my ear. I felt her, pressed against my back and wrapped around me.

She loves me.

This tender, fierce, shy, powerful, organized, goofy woman loves me with her body, her mind, her spirit.

We no longer hesitate. We have no reasons to hold back. We dance like we've always been here, together.

It had to happen.

Even as we passed the barrier point, knowing we are months ahead of plans, we knew we need this joining.

It's completely natural, logical, that we take the last obstacle to partnership and shatter it into twinnkling, shimmering light.

She satisfies me. I'm content so deep in my body. All the frantic pulsing of love has floated down and settled into a vivid peace.

She touches me generously, happily, curiously.

We chatter, giggle, analyse, question.

This is another phase in the project of partnering.

I love to love her I watch her face. I smile and laugh and swoon in the semitrance of Wanting. I pleasure her. I love her. I give her the best of my talent to love. And I watch her open, stretch, reach and gasp for me.

I walk through my time, sleepy eyed and grinning. My hair's a mess I barely manage to keep clothes on.

A memory of her fragrance, her words, her touch, her voice will pierce me during the most mundane efforts and I'm a fool on a cloud.

The prettiest girl in town nuzzles me and chirps for me.

I cradle and tease her. I take her in to me like air, breathing deeply, moaning happily.

I know my body accepts her. I can fall asleep in her arms immediately, without fretting. And I feel like I've always been there.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

ship shape

You are reading

Sent e-mail message

Dear Tease,

AH! but this is the POINT, my fuzzy wonder: it's NOT July 3rd!

And that's a GOOD thing! See all this ambivilance and self doubting and
second guessing and tidying and straightening (you should pardon the
expression) you're doing?

Do you think I'm not doing that, too, in my own context?

Them old timers were wise, creating a time of betrothal, engagement,

Isn't it better to consciously perceive each other as potential, rather
than actual, lovers while we go through these growing pains? Isn't it
better that nobody makes sincere commitments to anybody while under the
influence of limerance? Isn't it better we just feel what we feel, know
what we know and learn what we learn while we keep each other in mind
for a future date when All Will Be Revealed?

If we joined bodies now, we'd have that Sexuality to look at, to
distract ourselves with, to commit to (rather than to our individual and
collective processes and projects). And sexuality is powerful stuff;
it's easy to lose one's way, if one doesn't have good navigational

Neither of us was provided these navigational tools. We've had to learn
them and build them for ourselves as we went. Both of us have spent a
lot of energy on dog paddling, just to avoid drowning. And neither of us
wants to just float without direction.

So, here we are, building a vessel to carry us. We're charting the
stars, guaging the currents, testing the winds.

We're learning synchronized rowing. I figured that out the other night
when I walked you back and we had our arms around each other. Your legs
come up to my chin, yet we kept pace gracefully. I found it most

We're preparing for what looks like a very long journey of exploration
to uncharted waters and exotic destinations.

You can't do that in a rubber dingy with a bucket of fried chicken.

We're stocking provisions. We're lashing sails. We're testing the
riggings. We're providing for our journey.

The fact that you can say you wish it were July 3rd makes me hopeful for
what I want: a sexual partnership with you. But I'm not counting on
that. I'm not expecting that. I'm not planning on that.

Even though I absolutely know how I want to first kiss you. Even though
I know how I'd like to first lay with you.

It's one of the provisions I'm packing for the journey, in case we find
we need it.

But, if rough seas and pirate attacks find us in peril, it's one of the
first things I'll throw overboard: it takes up a lot of room and it's a
lot of weight.

So, we're still at the docks, polishing brass and reading maps that say,
"here, there be seamonsters." Nobody can tell us where we're going,
because few have travelled so far. I fear many of those perished in the
attempt. Fewer still, I suspect, have bothered to even try to return to
tell their adventures; I think it must be too beautiful out there to

A year is a good amount of time to prepare to set sail.

And we're learning how to work as a crew.

So, by the time we're out there in our tiny boat on that big ocean under
that bigger sky, we can depend on each other in healthy ways. And we've
increased dramatically our odds of survival. We have no idea what's out
there; we're going to need to trust each other in a storm.

You can't call 911 from where we're going; we'll need to rescue

The fact that you sometimes wish it was already July 3rd means July 3rd
might turn out to be a hell of a party.

We only have eleven months and a few days left to wait. And that's not
much time, for an adventure like ours. We need to be ship shape.

re: a quote about integrity

You are reading

Oh, how I try!

Sometimes, I say to myself, I say, "Earnie, get off my back!" no no...
that's wrong.

My god, there are ants on my sofa! They tickle!

I say to myself, "you can toss that cigarette butt; everybody else does.
You can lie to Healthcare for the Homeless & they'll fix your teeth;
everybody else does. You can steal just this one, little thing;
everybody else does..."

But, when I really look at "everybody else," I see what it does to them
and I hate it. I kinda feel sorry for them, but mostly, I can't help
feeling a bit disgusted and angry.

Maybe I just like thinking I'm better than them, so I don't have to deal
with them, I don't know.

But when ever I try to cheat, it makes me unhappy. Once in awhile, if
I'm desperate, I'll toss a butt in the street. Usually, it's because it
was burning my fingers while I was manouvering the scooter through
something difficult or dangerous.

So, within a block or two, once the emergency/crisis/traffic jam is
over, there I'll be, at some bus stop, picking up dozens of butts to
make up for my one...

'course, maybe I'm just nuts?

See, you're a cool spot in this blistered heart of mine because you
understand the value of your quote. It's not some platitude ideal to
pretend to; it's daily life for you. It's not just a pretty decoration
on your wall; it's your way of walking in the world.

Every wholesome, strong, determined and creative fiber in me knows the
only way to get to the Other Side is Through.

Now, listen: I tried to make it clear before, so I'm saying this again

I don't want anything unhealthy to grow between us. I don't want
ANYTHING between us!

I heard a song today in Walgreens. It was a love song, supposedly. The
person abdicated total responsibility for his life, putting it on his
love object. I've heard that song a thousand times and never really
listened 'til today, when I realized what you and I have is NOTHING like
what he was singing.

"God blessed me with you." It wasn't a matter of good judgment, doing
what's healthy for himself: she's a gift from Big Daddy.

"You make me feel..." Well, I found THAT so offensive, I sang out, "I
make me feel brand new..."

The song was seductive, at first, "my love, I'll never find the
words..." I could relate, somewhat.

But then, I realize this loser was
really saying, "I'm so out of touch with what I really need, I can't
even articulate what a paradigm shift it is in my consciousness to have
actually pulled my head out of my ass long enough to notice there's
another person on the planet and I wouldn't have done THAT if you
weren't so arousing that all I think about is doing you."

I relate to not finding words because, frankly, our model in this sick
culture is EXACTLY that drivel coming over the speakers in a PHARMACY:
drugs, don't you know....

We don't have very good language for healthy, egalitarian relationships.
Shoot, our Ideal is some masculinist concept of "two become one," which
sounds more like a Steven King novel, to me, than love.

So, I'm stumbling in the dark here, guaging my hormone levels and
engaging my intellect as I experience the spiritual transformation that
results from simply being honest with another person who's simply being

And words like, "whoa!" come to mind most easily.

The mantra of my connection to you is something about gratitude. No, I
don't know to whom I'm grateful. Obviously, I'm grateful to you, but how
did you get here, deep in my heart, like a pearl in an oyster?

And all I come back with, I'm grateful to myself for having the sense,
sensitivity, sensuality to have SEEN you, recognized you, opened to you,
offered my support and love to you.

It doesn't hurt that I'm a good cook and a great shopper, of course.
Especially since I can't win you over by KISSING you yet! sigh.

But that song in Walgreens today sent a cold and ominous chill through
me. This is how popular culture teaches people to love: be sick, be
needy, be incomplete, abdicate responsibility, put the source of you
feelings outside yourself, use others to feel better about yourself.....

No, my love, this is NOT a dysfunctional relationship!

Most sincerely,


Political wife beating

You are reading

Max Blumenthal, AlterNet
Colin McNickle, the political wife-beater for billionnaire
Richard Mellon-Scaife's right-wing attack machine, has set
his sights on Teresa Heinz-Kerry -- good thing she's
willing to stand up to it.

Federal Court OKs Ban on Sale of Sex Toys

You are reading


I guess the next thing will be, they'll have to outlaw raising chickens
there, too. Them good ol' boys are serious chicken pluckers, ya know.

I know people who are not capable of physical pleasure without sexual
aids. I wish they could pass beyond the fear of stigmatization to sue
the state for taking AWAY their fundamental rights to be sexual humans.

The more I know humans, the more I like my cats.

We just get sicker and sicker and...

Thu Jul 29, 3:21 AM ET
By JAY REEVES, Associated Press Writer
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld a 1998
Alabama law banning the sale of sex toys in the state, ruling the
Constitution doesn't include a right to sexual privacy.

In a 2-1 decision overturning a lower court, a three-judge panel of the
11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) said the state has
a right to police the sale of devices that can be sexually stimulating.

The American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites), which represented
merchants and users who sued to overturn the law, asked the appeals
court to rule that the Constitution included a right to sexual privacy
that the ban on sex toy sales would violate. The court declined,
indicating such a decision could lead down other paths.

"If the people of Alabama in time decide that a prohibition on sex toys
is misguided, or ineffective, or just plain silly, they can repeal the
law and be finished with the matter," the court said.

"On the other hand, if we today craft a new fundamental right by which
to invalidate the law, we would be bound to give that right full force
and effect in all future cases including, for example, those involving
adult incest, prostitution, obscenity, and the like."

Attorney General Troy King said the court "has done its duty" in
upholding the law.

Sherri Williams, an adult novelty retailer who filed the lawsuit with
seven other women and two men, called the decision "depressing."

"I'm just very disappointed that courts feel Alabamians don't have the
right to purchase adult toys. It's just ludicrous," said Williams, who
lives in Florida and owns Pleasures stores in Huntsville and Decatur. "I
intend to pursue this."

U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith Jr. of Huntsville has twice ruled
against the state law, deciding in 2002 that the sex toy ban violated
the constitutional right to privacy. The state appealed both times and

The state law bans only the sale of sex toys, not their possession, the
court said, and it doesn't regulate other items including condoms or
virility drugs. "The Alabama statute proscribes a relatively narrow
bandwidth of activity," U.S. Circuit Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr. wrote.

Circuit Judge Rosemary Barkett disagreed, saying the decision was based
on the "erroneous foundation" that adults don't have a right to
consensual sexual intimacy and that private acts can be made a crime in
the name of promoting "public morality."

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

soul sisters

You are reading

If I'd put in a request for a Best Friend, I couldn't have done a better
job. Hell, you even live within walking distance, and you email in the
middle of the night.

I'm starting to trust this thing now. Small shivers of fear accompanied
me writing that, but I really mean it.

I'm getting a taste of freedom. I'm starting to want it. I'll bust my
ass to get it, keep it if I can.

I think of you as an, "of course!" Like you've been here all along and,
if not, should have been.

I'm finding out something about my body: the damage to my genitals
really is pretty bad, after all. I've spent so much of my life with a
mind over matter attitude toward it, I've tried to ignore it as much as
possible. Denial and all that.

Today, especially now, I'm really feeling it. I'm feeling how extensive
is the pain. It covers more of my body than I'd thought. And it's more
painful than I admitted, even to Dr. Bowers. And I'm lying here, legs
open, with nothing touching me.

It's pretty bad.

But I'm learning how to experience the truth now. I expected not to be

It never occurred to me, in my entire life, before that I really need to
accomodate this pain until I can end it. I'm not saying I should submit
to it. I'm saying I need to be gentle with myself about it.

I couldn't let myself feel it until today. I couldn't let myself. I was
still too busy, suriving instead of recovering.

Today, I'm angry. Today, I'm defending that curly headed kid from that
sick bitch who mangled her.

It must have hurt like hell! And a raw wound, in a diaper? Jesus. The
infections could have killed me.

She often complained that, when she'd try to dress me for church, I'd
kick her in the breasts once she put my dress shoes on me.

She told me, all my life, I was a mean, evil little kid for that.

All she wanted to do, she said, was love me, and here I was, kicking her

I was supposed, I guess, to feel guilty? I never did; I was always
silently surprised that she was surprised.

I didn't know she'd mangled me, of course, but I knew how she treated me
when I was older.

I even told her that once.

She said, yes, but I was such a sweet baby, before I turned sinful and
mean. Before she had to "punish" me...

I'd just look at her, dumbfounded.

I think, my whole life, some part of me knew she was crazy, knew she
would, of course, have hurt me as an infant. Hell, she hurt me when I
was older, even when I was innocent of things. Why wouldn't she have
hurt me when I was newborn?

She never wanted me. She wanted an ego extension, a mirror and a doll.

I was this inconvenient, embarrassing, willful, uncontrollable ego that
came with the package, and must be stifled at all expense: beatings,
drugs, blackmail...what ever it took to kill me and keep the doll.

Well, she's dead now. You're right.

That little girl needs me. She needs a real mother. She's madder than
hell, scared to death. I need to take care of her. She hurts herself,
she's so desperate.

It throbs. It's hot. It burns. It's cold. It's numb. It radiates
out through my groin and into my upper thigh. It travels to my anus,
which clenches in response.

I have got to help that child.

DNC: a woman's place

You are reading

* Son of Republican President and Wife of John Kerry Address DNC *

We hear speeches by John Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry and Ron Reagan, son of the late Republican president Ronald Reagan on the floor of the Democratic National Convention.


* Medea Benjamin Dragged Off DNC Floor in Handcuffs For Unfurling "End the Occupation of Iraq" Banner *

As Teresa Heinz Kerry gave her prime-time address that never mentioned Iraq, Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin attemped to bring an anti-war message onto the floor of the convention. Moments later police were dragging her out of the Fleet Center.


* Maya Angelou, Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee Pay Tribute to Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party *

40 years ago at the Democratic National Convention, civil rights pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer took the stage to challenge white domination of the Mississippi Democratic Party. The Democratic Party paid tribute to her last night at the Fleet Center.


Monday, July 26, 2004

Play with your own Lesbian

You are reading

Dyke Dolls

Angela Davis Speaks At the Boston Social Forum

You are reading

* Angela Davis Speaks At the Boston Social Forum *

As thousands gathered at the first-ever Boston Social Forum, Angela Davis examines prison issues from Abu Ghraib to the U.S. and calls for a re-evaluation of American democracy.



labiaplasty needed

You are reading

Marci Bowers

This is either the bravest, or craziest, thing I've ever done.

My friend keeps coaxing me to contact this OB/GYN. She does reconstructive plastic surgery on women's genitalia.

I'm afraid. I'm afraid of further nerve damgage, loss of libido, worse pain, mutilation.

I'm also afraid to trust my own experience. What if I wasn't genitally mutilated? What if I'm crazy? I mean, the memory I have had to have occured when I was only 18 months old or so. I remember placements of objects in the room; those objects were only in that configuration after I was 18 mos old. How could I possibly remember something from so long ago?

But there's the pain. The pain is real. The pain isn't right. The pain got me in trouble in school, because I "wouldn't sit still." The pain has cost me jobs. The pain has kept me physically inactive. The pain has interfered with love relationships. The pain is constant and daily.

So, maybe it doesn't matter what I remember, in this case, as much as what I know.

My sexuality, my womanhood, shouldn't hurt me this badly.

So, I've written to this doctor. She's all the way up in Colorado! My friend is SO serious about me getting this done, she's both offered to drive me there and to help me with any expenses. Goddess!

It could take monoths before I even hear from this doctor...

Sent e-mail message

From:(Rogi Riverstone)
Date: Mon, Jul 26, 2004,
Cc: friend
labiaplasty needed

Dr. Bowers,

I have nerve damage to my left, labia minora. The pain is constant: an
irritation, about the magnitude of a sunburn.

During arousal, it's very painful, on the magnitude of a punch in the
nose. The pain radiates along the left side of my outer, vaginal wall
and radiates up the left side shaft of my clitoris.

I can not wear underwear, pants, bathing suits, etc. without discomfort.
I cannot ride a bicycle. I cannot sit on a chair for more than a few
minutes without serious discomfort.

Under certain conditions, walking is painful. So is vaginal penetration,
if the labia folds up and gets carried inside me.

I have been in pain with this condition since I was a very young child.
I'm forty-eight now, and just realizing this pain is not normal or

My friend asked me to contact you about the possibility of a
consultation for corrective surgery. She suggests any time after the
middle of August, as she has volunteered to drive me up there from
Albuquerque. My birthday is August 25th. I am considering her kind
offer as a present.

I realize your schedule is very busy, but could you find any time
squeeze me in?

Thank you,
Rogi Riverstone

Sunday, July 25, 2004


You are reading

A singular shift has occurred between Grace and me. In less than a month, we've plunged deeper into each other's psyches than most people do in a lifetile.

I don't know why this has happened; neither does she. We agree, however, that we've done tremendous work, learning each other's "backstories" in a very short time. And we agree that this seems to indicate a future of very intense collaboration: creative, spiritual, personal.

We are more intimate with each other in this brief time than I've been with people I've known my whole life. And I mean people I trust with my most sacred stuff.

By "intimate," I do not mean sexual. I've already described the groundrules I suggested regarding sexuality. There will be none until and unless we pass through to next year whole, healthy and intact. Even then, we don't know if sexual intimacy is an option.

Given the collaboration we've agreed on today, my guess is that there will be no room for sexuality next year. We have serious work to do. Very serious.

We are saving our emails to one another, in order to begin this work. We each have, all along, anyway. I don't know if either of us knew why. She may have saved them as a "record," in case I proved to be unstable or dangerous, for all I know.

I saved them because I didn't save Marianna's, and dearly regret that. I saved them because I've known, almost from day one, that this connection between Grace and I was extraordinary and needed to be documented, in case we would one day feel safe telling our story, our stories.

Simultaneously, we've become much more affectionate and comfortable with each other. it's natural, logical and intrinsic to the work we're agreeing to do. We need to touch each other. We need to feel close to each other, in order to do this work.

I have literally spent the entire day with Grace. We never stopped talking. Stories upon stories flew from one mind to the other. We wept and laughed easily with each other.

We act together, now, as though we've known each other for years. It amazes both of us. We have actually developed a narrative short hand: the kind one sees in old, married couples. We can finish each other's sentences. We say three words, look at the other, and the other nods. We know what we mean.

Our personal histories seem, on first glance, very different from each other. But we're so far beyond superficial details, that doesn't matter. What we are about is the underlying emotional growth, the lessons we learned from what happened to us, our values and ethics as a result of those experiences, and their value to the larger culture. We understand each other. Deeply.

We see, in our stories, precious and vital tools for others to follow. Neither of us had role models. We each found our way in the dark. We are very strong and resourceful as a result. And we are both overcoming tremendous damage, as a result.

Each of us wishes to make our stories sources of power, rather than examples of victimization. Each of us knows our stories can save lives and change attitudes.

You won't be hearing many intimate details of this process in this blog from now on. it's too important to expose.

After the first of mext year, we'll begin, in earnest, to develop a creative project about this work. When the work is complete, it will be public. Until and unless we complete at least one project, its focus will be for us alone.

I am dead certain that this collaboration, this connection, this intimacy I have with this woman is part of the most important bodies of work I've ever engaged.

The scent of her hair lingers on my shoulder. Her voice still sounds in my ears. The delicary of her skin still vibrates on my fingers. And her stories fill my mind and heart with such profundity, I'm completely humbled.

Amazingly, she feels the same about me.

I am her champion; she is my hero.

I am right to love her.

My erotic and sensual attachment to her has helped melt the barriers between us. I am fierce in my loyalty. I am protective. I am open to her in ways I wouldn't, couldn't otherwise have been.

And my blunt honesty about that has reassured her that I'm authentic. I refuse to play games. I need to state my truth. She understands and respects that. i won't do crazy things to my head by holding back what I feel and think.

And this has given her permission to speak to me in ways she has been silenced for her entire life.

The more we know each other, the more respect we have for each other.

We have each lived in a solitary confinement, echoes of early hell. We had noone with whom to speak it.

Until now.

And now, we expose everything to each other, more every day.

it is terrifying and beautiful. We are not uncomfortable. We're simply dumbfounded that such stories can be told to another person with such comfort, so readily, so soon.

I love her beyond words.

And she loves me.

We don't know, yet, what all this means. We do know we're engaged in a most profound and exquisite bonding.

It's bigger than both of us, put together. It has become our Reason.

We feed each other in the healthiest, most wholesome ways possible. We mother each other. We do it with humor and pathos, sardonic comments and near-prayers.

Very few people on the planet get to experience this. We both know that.

It's as though Something far beyond, and bigger than, us as placed us here. We're both agnostics; we're both skeptics. But the evidences of some Purpose, outside our individual egos, is pretty compelling.

We're supposed to be here.

Now, we find out why.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

my mouth tingles to kiss her

You are reading

We walked my park today. I walked to meet her, coming from her house. I showed her the sensual tree roots at the top of the park She said they're very Wiccan.

We sat and talked on a stone wall there. Secrets. Girl talk. Openings.

She said something. I can't remember what now. But I'd told her there was something I needed to say soon, and in person. Oh! She said I am the most romantic person she'd evr met. She said "Angel Hair" could sustain her for the rest of her life, whether anybody ever loved her again or not.

I said, "this it the time for me to tell you."

I took her hands in mine, looked her squarely in the eyes and said, "I love you."

She reached for me and we embraced. I kissed her throat, through that beautiful hair.

We walked back to my place, so I could make her some breakfast.

She began to get ill. It's a reaction to some serious stress she's had the last, couple of days and to eating some foods that aren't recommended for her health.

Her speech slurred slightly. She was disoriented. She had a head ache. She struggled to find the words for things.

I gave her a bit of cheese, some water and asprin.

I finished cooking breakfast, put a tray on her lap with her food.

We talked more.

She looked so tired.

A morning appointment got cancelled, with a ring of her cell phone.

I took her empty plate.

I removed her boots and socks and lay her on my sofa. I gave her my big, squishy teddy bear to hug.

I massaged her feet and calves with lotion and replaced her wet socks with my dry ones.

By then, Raoul was awake and making noise.

I closed my door, turned on the fans and put on Meg Christian's "Face The Music:" Classical guitar, folk music.

I piled pillows on the floor by her head. I massaged her face and head. She took my hand and pressed it to her forhead for warmth and pressure.

I sang to her. She sang back.

Gently, I stroked her face, her throat, her hair. She gathered my hand in hers, kissed it and hugged it to her breast.

At some point, I returned to the foot of the sofa, to get something off a table.

She reached for me, sat up slightly, slipped her arms around my waist and pressed her cheek to me.

I sat by her on the sofa, stroking her thigh, stroking her back.

She has agreed to the year. We will learn if we can be in love with each other. On July 3rd of next year, the anniversary of our first trip to the volcanoes, we'll discuss the potential for becoming lovers.

I helped her up, when it was time to go. I put her boots back on. I brushed her hair for the third time today and helped her pack.

I walked her home, as she shifted from being intimate to preparing to work.

She said she felt much better.

I've been busy, since I walked back from her place at about eleven this morning.

We got two extra, tender, happy, intimate, beautiful hours together to touch and talk and giggle.

While I was driving my scooter home just now, I thought how lucky I am. This magnificent creature is planning to make room in her heart, in her life, for me.

How many people get the opportunity to plan to be in love with someone in a year?

It's wonderful, knowing I have this to look forward to! It makes it SO much more relevent, that I'm taking care of myself, repairing my life, to be healthy and whole enough to really give her the best of me.

At one point today, I was laying with my cheek on her thigh. I whispered, "I'm so falling in love with you!" That's when she brought up the year-long agreement.

She feels me. She wants to feel me. She wants to love me. Her touch, her gentle kisses, were sure, not tentative. She was right here, heart to heart with me. We were comfortable, relaxed and open.

All those walls, masks, barriers, defenses that keep her safe and functional melted in my apartment today. She was right there, with me, reaching for me, wanting me.

This week, she finally broke down and announced that I'm her friend. I celebrated like I'd won the lottery -- more happy than that.

I never bed a woman who isn't first a friend.

It will happen. She will tell me she loves me. It's just time, and practice at being courted and romanced, before it happens.

I told her today how sexy she was, teasing me about the computer training. Her pouty mouth, four inches from my face, that hair, brushing my cheek, those arms, tangling with mine and brushing my breast. I told her I had no idea if I'd learned what she was teaching me, but I sure was crazy for an hour and a half. She laughed in such delight.

This woman is the finest thing to happen in my life for ...a very long time.

A year of this will have me so ready to make love with her, and she with me.

We talk about everything now. Everything.

The Somethings are disolving and the defenses come down.

This soft, strong, delicious being reaches for me now.

I am so grateful

Friday, July 23, 2004

beauty & revolution

You are reading

Date: 7/23/2004 07:53:13 -0600
From: (Rogi Riverstone)
Subject: Fwd: RE: Hair Care - Homemade Shampoo - Conditioner - Hair Dye - MousseRecipes

I sent my friend the URL of Pioneer Thinking. It has homemade recipes & suggestions for all manner of things, including hair care.

Yes, this is the muse for my poem, "Angel Hair."

She feels guilty, indulging in grooming, when children are starving in Biafra. She wonders how many kids could be fed for the price of a concealer stick. Then, she wonders how many kids could EAT a concealer stick, as they're probably edible.

She is struggling to reconcile her attraction to beauty & grooming products with her leftist politics.

I replied:


Sent e-mail message

From: (Rogi Riverstone)
Date: Fri, Jul 23, 2004,
To: Grace
Subject: RE: Hair Care -
Homemade Shampoo - Conditioner - Hair Dye - MousseRecipes

Dear Grace,

LMFAO! re: concealer.

See, this is the reason I like to make my OWN! AND why I like to pick

Hell, with a brief stint in the microwave for powders, or a brief dunk
in rubbing alcohol for creamy sticks, all my trash makeup is completely
safe and free! I've even made my own, out of earths, juices, etc.

I won't smear any trash on you; don't worry.

HERE is my philosophy of radical politics and beauty:

We are engaged in the daunting task of subverting a superstructure which
has ALL manner of defenses, and offenses!, in place to stop us. They
will kill, torture, mutilate and disempower any of us they can get their
hands on.

It is, therefore, easy to fall into the temptations of becoming burned
out. Which is just ANOTHER of the superstructure's tactics!

As long as we approach the work with THEIR paradigm: that it's hard
work, painful, serious to the point of humorless, unemotional,
nonsexual, etc., we are in immediate peril of self destruction.

IF we're serious about replacing the dominant superstructure with
alternative ways of being, it is imperative that we actually PRACTICE
these ways of being, along the way.

Nurture, cuddling, fondling, primping, affection, color, twinkling,
fuzzy, soft, kind, gentle, kissing, singing, playing... these things are
the Stuff the superstructure CAN'T destroy, dominate or even RECOGNIZE,
as they're antithetical to its paradigm, in the first place!

Loving ourselves, and each other where possible, is how we subvert the
system. It spreads. It heals. It provides the sanctuary in which we cook
up our plots, plans and actions.

That old, leftist, Marxist babushka crap may be fine for workers who
want to take over the pollution-spewing factories, who are STILL too
afraid to think and feel for themselves, and who just want a hot potato
on their plate at the end of the day.

But, whoever controls the factories, they're still factories; they still

I want to plant roof meadows. I want paths, instead of roadkill. I want
hand made things, instead of slave-made things. I want a goat in my yard
and chickens on my roof. I want my wooden computer solar powered. I want
art in the streets and music in the air.

I want pretty people, laughing and hugging, walking down the mulched
paths, past gardens of free produce for hungry people. I want people
with comfortable bodies and active minds working with me.

There's no contradiction, Grace. Beauty is not a luxury. You have GOT
to read Alice Walker's "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens!"

Only the middle class and priviledged are smug enough to sneer at
lipstick, flowers, doilies and blueberry tarts! Because they have the
priviledge to overindulge, every day! Poor folks know beauty is HARD
work -- literally, a labor of love -- that keeps them hopeful, healthy,
stimulated, joyful and vivid.

I went through the hiking boots & overalls stage, with the radical
lesbian feminists in the seventies. You never SAW such a grumpy bunch of
bitches! Lipstick lesbianism was the BEST thing to hit the women's
movement in a hundred years.

Each of us is all we've got. We have a scant time on this dirt clod. I
say, let's do it in silks!

Guilt is the weapon of the oppressor. It's internalized mind control.
It's not healthy; it's not happy; it's not creative and it CERTAINLY
doesn't heal a damn thing. It keeps us in line, while the overseers are

YOU have worked SO HARD to be Grace!!! CELEBRATE yourself! You're a
friggin' MIRACLE!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Fmr. Rep. Cynthia McKinney Set to Win Back Georgia Seat After Democratic Primary Victory

You are reading

* Fmr. Rep. Cynthia McKinney Set to Win Back Georgia Seat After Democratic Primary Victory *

We speak with former Rep. Cynthia McKinney. She defeated five opponents in a Democratic primary Tuesday and is set to win back her Congressional seat in Georgia. [includes rush transcript]


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

to Judith

You are reading

Date: 7/20/2004 13:05:54 -0600
From: (Rogi Riverstone)
To: (Judith)

Subject: Re: Jude : )

Dear Judith,

Hold on to the corn. I think I still have some of Marianna's seed. I
won't plant again 'til next year, and then I'll know if I need it.

Wrote this last night & this morning:
Angel Hair

I'm so in love with her, I can't see straight. Like I ever could.

The "Judith" blog post was SORT OF a reply to your letter. I never got
the nerve to open the dang thing. It's still sitting on my bedside
shelf, waiting.

She had to teach me some computer stuff yesterday. Someone else was sitting right there. She kept teasing me, bullying
me, making excuses to touch me and tangle her arms in mine at the
keyboard. All the time, she looked at me out of the corner of her jade
blue eyes with the most wicked smirk. Her grinning mouth was four inches
from mine and I was out of my mind for an hour and a half. I still don't
know if I learned what she was teaching me!

She's wicked powerful, that one.

And I won't kiss her 'til I get these damned teeth fixed! MOAN!

So, I'm trying to hone in on a focus for a script for "This American

But all I can do is lay here in the muggy heat, daydreaming about
that woman's hair!

Thank you,

Rogi Riverstone

women before politics

You are reading

Dear Rogi Riverstone,

For the third year in a row, President Bush has cut off family
planning funding to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund,
denying millions of women around the world access to basic
reproductive health services - including birth control,
sexuality education, prenatal and obstetric care, and lifesaving
information and services to prevent HIV/AIDS.

UNFPA is the only multilateral agency specifically devoted to
providing adults and adolescents with family planning and
reproductive health care services and information.

According to UNFPA, the U.S. funds could prevent 2 million
unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 induced abortions, and 4700
maternal deaths, as well as 77,000 infant and child deaths
annually. Tell President Bush to stop playing politics in our

You can take action on this alert via the web at:

Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

UNFPA Funding Rejected

If you have access to a web browser, you can take action on this
alert by going to the following URL:

Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
President George W. Bush

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

Once again, I am outraged by your decision to cut off funding
for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

People everywhere have a right to education, information, and
services to help them make responsible decisions about their own
sexuality and childbearing. Today more than ever, access to
these services is a matter of life and death. Every minute of
every day a woman dies from pregnancy-related causes, and last
year alone, almost 3 million people died of AIDS.

With a relatively small contribution, we have the power to
prevent 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 induced
abortions, and 4700 maternal deaths, as well as 77,000 infant
and child deaths annually. It is clear that your policies and
actions are driven not by responsibility and compassion, but by
politics and ideology.

The United States should be saving lives, not playing politics
with women's health.

Monday, July 19, 2004

volcano day

You are reading 7/18/2004 15:58:03 -0600

Subject: Volcano Day All headers

Dear ...,

I felt my body today. It wasn't a bit angry with me for hiking. It was
happy: happier than it's been since I was a very young woman.

Even now, hours and a nap later, what I'm feeling isn't pain. It's
something powerful and it's not exactly comfortable. It's beyond
comfortable into something strong and wholesome. My whole body is

Thank you for bringing me with you. I know I slow you down, and you
can't go as far, or as fast, with me as you could alone.

It's in your nature to be generous and patient. So, you're a good
companion to me. You're strong enough to help me, but generous enough to
accomodate me. You let me do things on my own, without bullying. I
wouldn't feel safe up there without you, not right now.

If I keep this up, though, I see a day when I can take Porky and just
go. I wouldn't go without him, either.

I am thinking, though, about taking the bus to places where I can walk,
if not hike. There's the nature preserve; there's Tingley; there's the
foothills where the Central bus quits. I just wish the buses got up as
early as I usually do, in the summer, anyway. Maybe this winter, I can
walk at midday, when it's warmest.

Your influence makes me want to be strong. Consistantly strong, so I can
depend on myself better.

Thank you SO MUCH for taking me to the volcanoes!

angel hair

You are reading

I see you, wide-eyed, silent child.

I hear your quick mind
dart through the traps and treacheries
of a psychotic father monster.

I feel you standing there,
forelorn and invisible,
silent and surging.

I taste you,
tears on your cheeks,
mother love dead and
you forbidden closure.

But most of all,
I smell your hair:
sun, alfalfa, scalp and earth.

Your hair is
evrey bit of joy
your body can exude publicly,
without being detected.

Here you are,
nearly half a century later
and your hair rejoices.

It stunned me today.

It rolled down your back
in honey curls,
fine as an infant's,
twinkling in sunlight,
throwing off sparks
of blues, reds, golds and greens.

It clung to my fingers
like morning glory vines,
like shy tentacles,
like babies' fingers,
like cats' tails.

It grasped me when I touched it.

Your hair sings happily
behind you
as you rush to tasks
and walk in wind.

Your mantle of power
floats in lamplight,
in moonlight,
a sacred shawl.

Your hair is wanton, giggling, wild, tender.

Your hair betrays
every Secret
you try to keep
about how beautiful you are.

I love this child's hair,
this woman's hair.

I would tangle my fingers
hopelessly in its grasp
and never want for freedom.

I would nuzzle my face
shamelessly in its nest
and always breathe that child.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

woman's work

You are reading href="">;.

I ought to have posted this last night, and tried to do so. But Blogger is, sad to say, no longer compatible with WebTV. I couldn't click the "publish" button. So, I copied the text and sent it to myself by email to a computer-accessible account. I was too tired to do it last night, but am posting now.

I'll miss blogging from my WebTV. The text was large enough to read. This isn't.



Oh, I've seen you all, poking in to see what I'm up to today.

Momma's been very busy putting together a radio story. See href="">rriverstone radio blog.

Took all day. Will be broadcast on Women's Focus on href="">kunm; tomorrow.

Six minutes, almost.

I'll describe my adventures in independent radio production in a small
bathroom later. Too tired right now.

Frieda, at, asked me to FTP it, based on my script. Length is
just right for them.

If they accept the story, it's worth a hundred dollars.

Not bad, for 2 days' work.

Beats flippin' burgers or mattresses.

And, of course, National Native News will probably want a smaller
version. That's worth fifty.

It's been a hard day. My back's sore from leaning into the computer
monitor to see.

My eyes hurt.

But it's the most satisfying feeling, knowing I helped spread the word
about hearing-impaired Native Americans.

Imagine this: I'm getting paid to do what I love!

Can you beat that? How lucky am I? WHOA!

Not only that, but what I'm writing and producing is useful, helpful

Now, ain't that a total kick in the pantz?

I can't stop yawning. I need to sleep.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

U.S. Policies Blasted at AIDS Conference

You are reading

As the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok comes to a close the U.S. is facing sharp criticism for it's funding policies, the small size of its delegation at the conference, and a lack of action to make generic AIDS medications available. We speak with Rep. Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress to attend the conference and we go to Bangkok and South Africa to speak with AIDS activists on the ground.

no dental

You are reading

I walked. I ate the thinnest, smallest, rib eye steak in my freezer. I bathed. I dressed.

I went to the station. I left about six thirty.

I talked to Li about what I was preparing to do, how scared I was.

I walked down the hall and talked to Stretch about his kid, whom he has been bringing in, but who wasn't with him today, darn it.

I talked to Tina of National Native News.

All the construction guys were, as usual, very glad to see me. I really like them.

I was waiting for T to show up. I've borrowed a minidisc recorder, and wanted one, more day before I brought it in.

Then it was time.

I drove to the dental clinic and parked. I was fifteen minutes early. I talked with a very nice woman about this mess. She hates it, too. She has had a stroke and the left side of her body is partially paralized.

I told her about my radio work. She's going to try to listen to Women's Focus this Saturday, to hear my report. How sweet!

No benches out front, so here we were, two gimpy, old women, standing and suffering.

They opened the doors.

I handed them all my insurance stuff.

I had my name and half my social security # written down, when the woman said, "I'm sorry; you're not covered. We can't work on you."

She gave me a print out of 3 community clinics and their numbers.

I went BACK to the station, to call.

I started crying in Li's office, but she set my shoulders back and reminded me I can do this.

I called the clinic. I have some paper work to do first.

There's a twenty-five dollar, PER VISIT, copay! No matter how low my income.

Might as well be a thousand!

Well, I talked to "Grace." She offered to pay the copay.

My immediate response was an emphatic, "NO!" I apologized. But the point of this work I'm doing is so I'll feel like an equal, feel worthy.

Now, however, I'm thinking: she could loan me the copays. Only the ones I can't make myself, of course.

I'll probably need about a hundred a month, to get the work done. I can pay it back as I get radio jobs.

And this tells me something. She knows I won't kiss her with this mouth. And she's offering to help me fix it. See?

So, I have the minidisc for one, more day. I need to nap now and finish my stories tonight and tomorrow.

Another woman at the station is having an acting workshop. She has agreed to let me in for free, if I prepare lunches for fifteen people per each of two days.

"Grace" is smiling at me with such warmth: blatant, unabashed warmth. She asked if I read last night. I said yes. She's more than pleased.

I apologized for demanding so much of her attention, in a week where I know she's very busy.

I'm so ready to fall in love with her. It's right there, right in front of me.

So, now I sleep, earn money, make plans for dental care, take care of myself.

I'm so sleepy!

on taking a terrorized child to the dentist

You are reading

I got a good night's sleep. I didn't nap long yesterday, and did it early, just for that reason. I didn't want to lay awake, worrying, and oversleep this morning.

I put away a bunch of that pile of clean laundry, so I could find one of my prettiest dresses to wear today.

I showered late yesterday, so my hair would be its prettiest today.

I won't wear makeup; it's too hot out and I'd get smudgy and sweaty.

I woke at 4:15am. I'm not listening to the radio. I'm just sitting, in silence.

Soon, I'll eat breakfast. That way, I don't have to go on a seriously empty stomach. But I don't have to worry about vomitting much stomach content; it should be pretty well digested by the time they stick tools in my mouth.

I've printed out my transcript of the Intertribal Deaf interview, so I can start writing my voice copy at the dentist's.

I'm a little shakey, so only one cup of coffee, please.

I'm sipping slowly. Already this morning, I've gagged on cigarette smoke once, and on coffee another time.

I'm coughing up, as carefully as I can, any extra mucus and phlegm. Those can trigger vomitting, too.

I'm rereading my "pep talk" (see below).

I'll take some object with me, which I can hold in my fist. I don't know what yet. Maybe the little, white Teddy bear I found in the dumpster after my daughter died. I carried it everywhere and hugged it and cried into it for weeks.

I'll wear my pearls. I worked SO HARD to earn them. My friend, Kate, reminded me of that, when I started ragging myself for being superficial and materialistic for buying them. They're evidence, she said, that I can get what I want, through persistance, commitment and hard work. Yeah, I have to wear the pearls! Through all the homelessness and craziness, I've never lost them and I've never pawned them.

I don't know if I'll walk this morning, before I go. I'm a little scared, as I'm emotionally fragile.

But there's this one tree root. I'd like to see it today. It's bleached white from people walking on it. I assume there's a subterranian rock, or something, that affected its growth. But it has grown in a circle. It looks like the semispiral images in LeGuin's book, Always Coming Home. It looks sacred. The open spiral: the "ends" don't touch. One end points to Center; the other reaches Out. Constant change, constant growth.

I'd like to see that tree root this morning, and it's all the way at the top of the park. Maybe I'll walk ONCE around, rather than twice. That shouldn't make me too tired.

The little girl I'm taking to the dentist trusts me. Oh, sure: she'd rather not go. She remembers how hard it is. She knows what can happen.

But I'm mothering her. I'm encouraging her. And not with silly crap like, "but you'll have such pretty teeth!"

No, I'm telling her she'll be stronger, healthier, if we go through this. I'm telling her I'll better be able to care for her, if I'm not prone to infection and disease. I'm telling her she'll get kisses, when her teeth are cared for. I'm telling her she won't have to hide her mouth behind her hand anymore, when she laughs or smiles.

She trusts me. I'll take care of her.

If anything happens at the dentist's which becomes too invasive, too traumatic, I'll just stop the procedure. They'll have to find another way, or at least wait for me to calm my body down.

I won't be MY mother. I won't force this terrified child to do the impossible, the dangerous. I won't abuse and bully and threaten and beat myself into compliance.

All the mothering I've felt for Viri Diana, for the kids in the War Zone, for the people around me: I'm focusing it, lavishing it, on me today.

And I feel that child absorbing it, dancing in it, celebrating it, singing to it, laughing about it. She is utterly thrilled to be the center of my attention this morning.

I've neglected her, out of fear of her sorrow. I've pretended she wasn't there. I've made her suffer in silence.

Today, I'm taking her hand. I'm dressing her up. I'm taking her for a walk. And I'm working to get her healed.

She is a remarkable creature. She's beautiful, smart, funny. She sings like a bell in the wind. She builds things. She plays music. She writes. She thinks pretty profound thoughts, to be so young.

My mother wasn't proud of her. But I am. I think she's amazing, a miracle, a real treasure.

She deserves all the love, care and protection I can give her. She needs me to be healthy, so I can keep her safe.

It's 5am now. I have to eat now.

I have to begin now.

Hoka Hey.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

pretending I'm not insecure

You are reading, you're not going to be homeless. And, even if you were, you wouldn't have had her to walk with you, to ground you and help you keep your head on straight, if this had happened a year, even a month, ago.

Rogi, you are perfectly capable of going to an open mic night, reading your poetry and coming home in one piece. You don't need to feel abandoned, just because you didn't get a "good luck" email before, or a "how'd it go?" email afterward.

Rogi, you CAN go to the dentist tomorrow, without anybody cheering you on and wishing you well.

WHY must EVERY ordinary, mundane bit of life affect me so intensely?

And, even as I write, I eye the email light, hoping it will blink, too late at night for it to be from her.

On days like these, spam is cruel.

She is working so hard. And she's in classes.

If you really care about her, you'll let her be. If you really care about her, you won't demand that she pay attention to your stresses, at the expense of her own.

If you really care about her, you'll leave her alone to take care of her business.

It ain't always about you, grrl.

She's been more than generous, in a remarkably short period of time. She has shared Secrets, rides, ideas, twining fingers, bottled water, hugs, wild places, time, laughter with you in such generous measure.

I know: you're starved for such things. I understand; you've had a taste and you want more. You've gone without for so long.

But the first thing you have to remember is that it's YOUR job to provide for yourself! It's no hers!

I'm not saying you should "suck it up." I'm not saying you have to live in solitary confinement, never muttering a peep about what you need.

Your girl's got your back. Never doubt it. She supports and respects you. She encourages you and helps when she can.

Now, it's your turn. You need to have her back, too. And all she's asking for is some time and space to do what she needs to get done.

So, don't distract her. Don't play games, try to manipulate her into paying attention to you, act a fool.

Let the poor woman do her thing, without always having to turn around to look at you!

Yeah, you're scared! Damned right, you're scared. You thought you'd end up homeless next month. You got up in front of strangers tonight and read poetry about the War Zone and poverty. And tomorrow, you go to the dentist, in spite of the incest and sensitive gag reflex.

Damned right, you're scared.

But it's your own job to soothe, mother, protect, nurture and love yourself through this. It ain't hers. It can only come from you. It only counts IF it comes from you!

You need to dig deep, grrl. You need to go into that Sacred place, where you really can love yourself.

You need to march into that damned dentist's office tomorrow with YOUR memories, YOUR totems, YOUR charms and YOUR powers. Not hers.

You need to remember the tree roots at the park. You need to remember the fuzzy, red ants at the volcanoes. You need to remember Marianna's blue corn, growing in your garden. You need to remember your flute playing to "Native Dancer." You need to remember the poetry you read tonight, which you just now almost typed as "power." You need to remember the radio piece you're writing for This American Life on "Most Likely To Succeed." You need to remember those cheerful eyes on Ursula K. LeGuin last night. You need to remember chai tea and fresh-picked blackberries at Kate's salons. You need to remember.

And, you need to remember this woman's eyes, when she looks straight at you, openly. You need to remember her, taking your hand in hers. You need to remember the gleeful, hearty laugh from her open throat when your idiot dog jumped into her back seat without permission, ready to go back to the volcanoes. You need to remember what she has told you about her life that's sacred and quiet. You need to remember you'll see her on Sunday. You need to remember she's taking big risks with you. You need to remember how her hair smells. You need to remember that purr in her voice.

Now, you'll be ok tomorrow. You will. They're not going to do anything to you tomorrow, except figure out what to do later. Besides, after tomorrow, it won't all be a big, scary mystery; they'll TELL you what's going to happen to your teeth, your mouth.

You're healing, grrl. That's all it is.

Sure, it itches and tingles and burns, but that's healing: that's the nerves repairing.

Shoot, when you were sick, you just got used to the dull aching. It was constant. You restricted and restrained your movements to accomodate it.

Now, you've decided you need your freedom. You need to move around. You need to KISS somebody, grrl!

You need to stand in front of microphones without black, ragged teeth.

You need to face your fear. This is just a baby step. You can do this. This ain't homelessness, losing a baby, rape, a beating.

This is recovery, grrl.

Remember that Meg Christian line,

"And she tells me, 'don't you worry; you can do it; don't dispair. If it hurts, I've been through it. And I got to here from there."

It's only pain, Rogi. It's only fear, Rogi.

And you've seen SO much more, in the past! And that was the lethal kind.

This here? It's just growing pains, grrl.

You'll be just fine.

I love you. I believe in you. I'm proud of you. I trust you. I respect you.

Now, watch "the Simpsons," and then go to bed.

You've got to be at the dentist's at eight in the morning.



Open Mic Night

You are reading

To all wimmins & others, who don't have to: kick something, swim, belly dance, climb a mountain or bicycle to the Arctic Circle tonight,

Nola, Yolanda and probably Frank (from Food Not Bombs) are meeting me here tonight at around six pm.

We're going over to Blue Dragon for Open Mic night, and to meet with Nick, the owner, about his donations to FNB.

Open Mic begins at 7:30pm.

Anybody who wants to walk around the park with me ought to be here no later than 5:30pm.

A light supper will be served here, because Blue Dragon's too expensive for me!

BYO poetry, music, whatever, if you wanna make an ass of yourself in front of strangers.


Code Pink Alert

You are reading


After a six day hunger strike innitiated by Diane Wilson, Indian Government bows to pressure, agrees to submit a statement to U.S. court in the union Carbide-Bhopal contamination clean up case. Check out these links for details: | |

CODEPINK Gives its First Ever Human Rights Award to Texas Fisherwomen Diane Wilson

You, too, can honor Diane by taking a simple action—see below!

At a dinner banquet in San Francisco on June 10, CODEPINK honored Texas fisherwoman Diane Wilson. Diane, “infamous” for her struggles against the chemical companies polluting the Gulf Coast, is in many ways responsible for the birth of CODEPINK. At a rousing speech to a group of environmentalists called Bioneers, Diane called on the “unreasonable women” of the world to come together to fight pollution, war, and injustice. Bioneers co-producer Nina Simons was so moved that she convened a gathering of “Unreasonable Women for the Earth” in 2002, and it was there that CODEPINK was conceived. Since then, Diane has joined CODEPINK in a hunger strike in front of the White House to try to stop the war in Iraq, chained herself to the UN fence to urge the UN to stop the war, and went to Iraq weeks before the invasion to send a message of peace to Iraqi women.

On the environmental front, Diane not only fights the chemical companies polluting her bay in Texas, but she has gone half-way around the world—to Bhopal, India—to fight the chemical companies there. In 1991 she was invited to India to a gathering looking back at the Union Carbide explosion in 1984 that killed over 20,000 people in Bhopal. She was so outraged by the chemical company’s lack of accountability to the victims, and even their refusal to clean up the site, that she became active in the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.

The best way we can pay tribute to Diane is to support her latest endeavor on behalf of the people of Bhopal. In response to a suit filed by Bhopal survivors, a court in New York has agreed to consider survivors’ claims for getting Union Carbide to clean up the toxic waste in Bhopal. For this to happen, the Indian Government needs to submit a letter to the New York court expressing its support for the survivors’ claims. The DEADLINE set by the New York court for receipt of such a letter is June 30, 2004. So far, the Indian Government has refused to respond.

Diane will join some of the Bhopal victims in a NO FOOD, NO WATER hunger strike starting on June 18. While Diane and her colleagues are putting their lives on the line, they are asking us to call, fax or send a letter to the Indian Consulate in New York: Mr. Ashok Tomar, New York Consul General Tel: 212 774 0600 Fax: 212 734 4980) or email the Minister of Chemicals in India (

Diane, a simple fisherwoman from a small village, understands the connections between poor fisherfolk in Texas, chemical victims in Bhopal, and war victims in Iraq. Over the years she has taken incredible personal risks to stop corporate and government abuses. She is a great inspiration to “unreasonable women” everywhere, and CODEPINK is delighted to have this opportunity to salute her courage and her example. Thank you, Diane. We love you.


1. Ask for Mr. Ashok Singh Tomar, Consul General, New York.
2. Subject of the call: To urge the Government of India to submit a letter by JUNE 30 supporting Bhopal survivors' claims in ongoing lawsuit in New York court seeking remediation of contaminated factory site and surroundings by Union Carbide.
3. More than 5000 tons of toxic wastes abandoned by Union Carbide in Bhopal represents an ongoing source of pollution.
4. Nearly 20,000 people in the vicinity are forced to consume contaminated water due to the inaction by the Government and the company.
5. After two decades of inaction by Government and industry, survivors approached the Second District Court of New York seeking remediation of contaminated site and groundwater by Union Carbide.
6. Clean-up should be paid for by the Polluter -- Union Carbide. Costs of clean-up can run into several hundreds of crores, and shouldn't be passed on to taxpayers.
7. The Second District Court of New York has indicated that it will consider the claim if it receives a letter BY JUNE 30 from the Government of India indicating the Government's support of plaintiffs' claims for remediation by Union Carbide.
8. Reiterate that you are calling to press upon the Government to submit a letter to the New York court supporting the survivors' claims for clean-up by Union Carbide.
9. Mention that the failure of the Indian Govt to send this letter is causing concern among Bhopalis, and that this will lead to a global waterless hunger strike by by Bhopalis, which will be supported by Diane Wilson and Indians in the US.


The world’s worst-ever industrial disaster devastated the Indian city of Bhopal nearly 20 years ago, in 1984. Union Carbide’s deadly legacy continues to haunt the people of Bhopal. Toxic wastes abandoned by Union Carbide remain strewn in and around the factory site representing an ongoing source of pollution. Poisons from these wastes have contaminated the groundwater serving more than 20,000 people.

After two decades of inaction by the company and the Government, survivors and residents from the contaminated areas filed a suit in the Southern District Court of New York seeking clean-up of the contamination by Union Carbide.

A March 17, 2004, order of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, USA, ruled that survivors’ claims seeking clean-up by Union Carbide should be considered by the New York District Court if the Indian government or the State of Madhya Pradesh seeks to intervene in this action or otherwise urges the Court to order such relief. The New York District Court has given the Government of India until June 30, 2004, to submit such a letter.


To: The Prime Minister, Govt of India
C/o Mr. Ashok Tomar, Dy Consul General & Consul
3 E. 64th St., New York 10021
Tel: 212 774 0600
Fax: 212 734 4980


Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Chemicals
Tel: +91 11 23386519, 23386364. Fax: +91 11 23384020

Dear Sir,

I’m writing to urge your Government to do right by the survivors of the Bhopal disaster by taking steps to address their long-standing concerns. Thousands of tons of toxic wastes lie dumped and open to the elements in and around the former Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. Poisons from these wastes have leached into the groundwater serving more than 20,000 people in the neighborhood.

After two decades of inaction by the company and the Government, survivors and residents from the contaminated areas filed a suit in the Southern District Court of New York seeking clean-up of the contamination by Union Carbide. (Sajida Bano et al v. Union Carbide Corporation and Warren Anderson)

A March 17, 2004, order of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, USA, ruled that survivors’ claims seeking clean-up by Union Carbide should be considered by the New York District court if the Indian government or the State of Madhya Pradesh seeks to intervene in this action or otherwise urges the Court to order such relief. The New York District Court has given the Government of India until June 30, 2004, to submit such a letter.

Allowing the polluter to escape because it is a powerful MNC, and allowing the victims to be revictimized because they are seen as powerless poor people is a dangerous folly. Not only does it underestimate the power of organized and globalized resistance that the Bhopalis are capable of unleashing, it also projects India as a willing dumping ground for the world s dirty technology.

I urge the Indian Government to support the legal action initiated by survivors by writing to the Southern District Court of New York urging the court to order plant site and groundwater remediation by Union Carbide Corporation.

Name Address:

CODEPINK, 2010 Linden Ave, Venice, CA. 90291
(310) 827-4320 & (415) 575-5555 /

so much changed, changes, needs changing

You are reading

This is an old blog post of mine, from last Thanksgiving:
Lily Tomlin

I looked at Ursula K. LeGuin last night and marveled. She has been obsessively writing since she was five. That's sixty-nine years. She says the only things she knows how to do are writing and housework. That's why she taught writing; nobody's interested in housework, anymore. I can relate.

She had the sense to "get the other stuff out of the way, so I could write."

There's the difference.

I allowed myself to be seduced into believing that ANYthing was more important than my scratchings!

It's hard to focus, when scared of homelessness, listening to gunfire, beaten and raped, alienated from other writers...

I didn' make it my Reason To Be.

I wish I had, but that's blood under the toilet.

Apparantly, I am making it my Reason To Be, now.

So, everything's changing.

I wondered, last night, as I smoked a cigarette before the lecture.

I'm going to be fifty, a year from this August 25th.

I wonder how much time I have left.

I always wonder this. I feel like I'm running out of time. Every day feels like it could be my last.

I'm frantic to catch up to myself.

It drives people crazy, of course. It makes me intense.

Like my emotional intensity isn't hard enough on people, already!

I feel It coming: the terminus. I can almost see it, in front of me, waiting for me to get to it.

I want to leave a body of work that might be useful to others. I want to speak, beyond my grave.

I want to help the next ones get something done that I couldn't do.

This isn't about being famous, recognized, etc. It's about my primal need to mother, to nurture, to educate. I crave feeling I've been useful and helpful.

I want to assist others to go beyond where I got stuck, to avoid being stifled.

So, I write. I learn. I dig in my singular past for the most precious, most vital bits of my experience.

I know what I want to write for This American Life now.

I want to write on the subject, "Most Likely To Succeed."

For me, "success" would mean that one, other woman found her Voice and helped heal us all.

Marianna Dengler did that for me.

I need to mother another woman writer into her rightful place as midwife to our species.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I met Pamela White Hadas tonight!

You are reading

From: (Rogi�Riverstone) Date: Tue, Jul 13, 2004, 9:50pm

Subject: met @ LeGuin

Dear Pamela,

I'm so glad I ran into you tonight!

I've begun "googling" you, too! LOL

I told Rachel Kaub, who coordinates Radio Theatre at , about you.

I hope you'll consider working with us on a future project.

In the mean time, if you'd like to get together for a plain, old walk or cup of coffee, just to chat, I'd certainly enjoy it.

Or, come over for lunch some day. My place is small and humble -- and
full of cats! -- but it's pleasant. And I'm a good cook!

I wish you all the best in your new adventures in Albuquerque!

Wasn't tonight a treat?

Rogi Riverstone

I thanked Ursula K. LeGuin tonight!

You are reading

She sat right in front of me, as we waited to begin.

I knew, before I went...I've known for over ten years, actually...what I would say to her.

I walked up, bold as brass, and knelt at eye level in front of her.

I said, I'm low income and disabled. Several times in my life, I've faced traumas I didn't know whether or not I could live through. I've often been homeless.

I own three books that I take with me, where ever I live. If I get too confused, scared or desperate, I read one, or all, for emergencies.

One is "Always Coming Home."

She laughed heartily, head back, eyes squinted shut, throat full of mirth. She looked me straight in the eye and said, "oh, thank you for telling me that!"

The Chilean poet she has translated is ...and I know I'll spell this wrong... Gabriella Mistral.

I was in tears during several of the poems. She wrote my life!

Ursula is a tiny woman. I looked at the back of her head and marveled:

HOW can so MUCH brilliant writing come out of such a TINY head????

I'm SO glad I went!

I thought of Marianna, Kate, Bettina, Adrienne Rich ... I just thought and thought and thought....


I met a playwrite tonight, outside, while smoking. She just moved here. She is interested in Radio Theatre. I have her phone and email. She has offered to help me organize my script!

I'm going to invite her over for lunch.

Stealth anti-marriage tricks

You are reading

Even as Senate Republicans appear to be failing in their efforts to
write discrimination into the Constitution, leaders of the House of
Representatives are gearing up to find alternative backdoor methods to
block marriage equality.

House Republican Majority leader Tom DeLay is considering two proposals
that take steps toward halting marriage equality.

One proposal would
block the District of Columbia from recognizing marriages of gay and lesbian couples married in other states. �The other would deny the
Supreme Court and all other federal courts of the ability to consider
any challenges to the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.

Both these attempts are crude attempts to force marriage
discrimination. The House should reject any attempt to stop marriage

Take Action! Urge your representative to oppose stealthy attempts at
marriage discrimination.

Click here for more information and to send an email to your Representative:

Also, because time is short, you can also call your Representative
through the Capitol Switchboard at 202 224 3121 or 1-800-839-5276. �You can look up their direct number at �

P.S. As mentioned earlier, the Senate is likely to start votes on the
Federal Marriage Amendment �tomorrow!
If you have not already done so,
you can send a message to your Senator by clicking below. You can also
use the numbers above to call your Senators.

For more information on other issues and the latest news, please visit
our website at here

Enemy in their Camp: Scores of U.S. Servicewomen Raped by Fellow Soldiers

You are reading

The Denver Post revealed earlier this year that scores of female troops have reported being sexually-assaulted by fellow service members in Iraq and Afghanistan. We'll talk with the reporter who broke the story and a former Air Force officer who says she was repeatedly abused by senior officers.


Ursula K. LeGuin

You are reading

Voices of the Southwest: Ursula K. Le Guin�

Category: Lectures/Literary

Price: Free *

Dates and Times: Tuesday, July 13; 6:30 pm

Ursula K. Le Guin, winner of the National Book Award and widely honored for her fiction, presents CHANGING PLANES: STORIES with additional readings from her translation of SELECTED POEMS OF GABRIELA MISTRAL.

This lecture will include readings, audience questions, and a book signing, and will be broadcast live on KUNM. �

Venue Information Venue: Woodward Hall Rm. 101
Address: UNM Campus
City: Albuquerque
State: NM
Zip Code: 87131 Presenting Organization Name: Voices of the Southwest Telephone: 505-277-4854 Email Designation: not-for-profit

There will be live, streaming audio feed of this lecture. Go to KUNMfm for stream.

I'll be in the audience.

muscle cramps

You are reading

All I can imagine is that the excercise I've been doing is stretching tight muscles. I really don't know why, but my calves have terrible Charlie horses, regularly. And, when they're not cramping, the threat is always there, anyway.

I try to ignore the threat, so I can keep working my body into shape.

But the cramps are so strong, they immobilize me. They can literally bring me to my knees, if I can't quickly find a place to sit.

And the place, in my belly, where they took my baby still hurts rather badly. I think it's scar tissue. But it feels like nerve damage; the pain radiates out and away from the source, through my hip, around my back.

It's almost time for the dentist. I've kept myself so busy -- with radio, housekeeping, writing, etc. -- that I haven't had much of my brain vacant enough to make myself miserable about it.

I get only flickers of panic, fear, dread and anger. For this, I'm very grateful.

Frankly, I wish it was already the fifteenth of July, so the initial exam would be over and the process of removing the decay and death from my mouth would already be happening.

I really want to be done with this.

Dental problems leave one vulnerable to other, opportunistic infections. They weaken the entire immune system, and mine's compromised enough, already.

It terrifies me to have a source of infection, and possible gangrene, so close to my brain, eyes and ears.

No, I don't know what this dental work will look like. I don't know how traumatic it will be, either for my body, mind or heart.

It could be terrible, you know; they could leave me more damaged than I am, already.

But I can't have open sores, exposed nerves, absesses and rotting food in my head. It's just too damn dangerous.

I just hope I haven't waited too long, already.

The good news is that Porkchop, "Grace" and I will walk the volcanoes Sunday, at sunrise.

I'll be home in time for Food Not Bombs.

The environment's very different up there than here, although one can see each place from the other.

Insects and plants are very different up there. I could spend the whole day, on my belly, looking at the living things up there.

I don't know the elevation up there, but my ears always pop on the car ride back DOWN to five thousand feet and home!

It sounds and smells different, too. It just seems more Real up there.

We are to make this a regular outting: Sunday mornings, at the Volcanoes, at sunrise. For a month, anyway; after that, who knows?

It's medicine to me. I'll miss it, when I can't do it anymore.

I'm trying to encourage another woman friend to walk the local park with me. She has been ill for a very long time. I think I've nearly convinced her, but she has problems with making commitments and sticking to them. We'll see.

It would be nice to form a women's walking group to go around the park with me.

I hope for kindness, reassurance, compassion and encouragement, as I make these huge and frightening changes in my life. At the same time, I try to provide those same properties to those around me. Especially now that I'm honest enough to realize how important they are to me these days.

It's nearly time, right now, for me to go out there and walk again. It's hard; it really is. I feel so inadequate. I'm in over my head: I don't know, really, how to help my body and not hurt her. I feel so weak and incomplete. It's so tempting to give up, in an attempt to avoid pain.

But pain is, apparantly, going to be my constant companion for the rest of my life. I won't let it ruin me.

So, it's time to get up, get dressed, get out, get on with it.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Bettina & Kate

You are reading

I won't be able to write this blog much longer without telling my stories of Bettina & Kate.

In the mean time, you'll have to settle for this:

Dear Bettina,

I've torn up the 'net, looking for you and Kate. I finally broke down and asked PR at UCSC.

I hope this email finds you and yours well and satisfied.

I'm sending you my Viri Diana blog, in case you and Kate (and anybody else who might be interested) would like to see some of what I've been doing.

My domain is where you'll find my other writings, radio broadcasts, blogs, recipes and silly stuff.

I remember my time in Pacific Grove fondly. I'm beginning to open my home to young people in a fashion similar to Kate's salons.

My entire life has undergone a radical paradigm shift this year, and I'm more whole and healthy than at any other time in my life.

It doesn't hurt that I'm falling in love with a most intriguing and brilliant woman, either. Sigh! :)

I suspect you're on vacation and won't see this 'til early fall, but thought I'd throw it into your "in box," with the rest of the chatter, while I was thinking about it.

I hope Kate might be willing to visit me online, as well. But I know she expressed absolutely no interest in the 'net, last time we communicated.

I love the medium, and have grown enormously, as a result.

Thank you for your energy, work and influence.

Rogi Riverstone

Dear Judith,

You are reading

Dear Judith,

I think I see you visiting my pages: earthlink, pacific time.

I received the email you sent to my webtv account and I replied.

Last night, I found one in the rriverstone email box. I replied.

I'm sorry you're having SO much trouble with your computer! I TOLD you I prefer WebTV! LOL

And you can buy one for about twenty-five bucks!

Well, as you can see from my blogs, I've undergone a radical transformation again.

I'm back on the radio, where I belong.

I'm back to loving women, where I belong.

I'm back to loving myself, where I belong.

I really missed myself! These days are poignant and tender, as I hold up fragmented memories and try to see my story in them.

I tried to get someone to help me photocopy the Hood Life blog and mail it to you. But the beurocratic traps are so tricky. If I'd been caught, I could have been in real trouble. And so could the person who would have helped me. So I gave it up.

My printer was out of ink, and I didn't know what to do about that for awhile. So I couldn't do it, here.

I'd love to sit and talk for a few hours, in person.

I'd love to bring her to meet you. I know you'd be smitten. I don't really know why EVERYbody isn't, except that she disguises herself to the point of invisibility sometimes, and people just don't see her.

Apparantly, I'm an Elder now. First, young children came to me for assistance, advice, etc. Now, it's young adults: particularly, Queers. They want to know what I know.

I'm always alarmed that nobody else has taught them by now!

What we did, what we learned, what we accomplished thirty years ago: these young people desperately NEED it now! And nobody's making a conscious effort to teach them, apparantly.

I'd hate to see our history disappear. I'd hate to see them have to reinvent the wheel, for another generation.

So, I'm pulling out the old folk songs. I plan to learn them on my autoharp, so I can teach them to the young ones.

And, of course, I'm writing like a madwoman, trying to record my process. It might be useful to them, somehow.

I have a good archive of old: events fliers, underground press, videos, tape recordings, vinyl records....

I can teach them, based on what these artifacts stimulate in my own memory.

So, I'm knitting together these threads into a blanket to warm them.

Radio means life. I can teach, I can explore, I can create, I can record, I can remember. I truly love radio. I'm learning it as well, and as quickly, as I can manage.

It astounds me that, thirty years later, radio is as relevent to the culture as ever. It's still people's companion.

It's so intimate. I really like the idea of talking to people as they go about their lives, chores and errands.

I'm making the best friends I've had since leaving California in '88.

The people who visit my home are intelligent, purposeful, witty, committed, hard working, and funny as hell! Only the best, at my house.

When I lived in the War Zone, I intentionally decided not to allow people into my home. I had to protect my body, my animals, my possessions and my work from unpredictability and predation.

Now, the door is open. People know how to undo the elaborate latches on my gates. They come in whenever they choose. The "bad guys" can't figure out how to get in. Besides, my pit bull dog, Porkchop, scares them to death. But he LOVES my visitors!

So, here I am, at the end of my life, beginning my life.

It's a peaceful, happy time for me.

I miss you.

I thank you for your support and friendship.

Too seldom in this half-mad life do we connect with Genuine People. You're one of those, and have been for me, since I was eighteen years old. I'm forty-eight now.

In spite of everything we've done to each other, you are a lifelong friend.

And I'm grateful.


Sunday, July 11, 2004


You are reading

Calm, contained and grinning, she flows into our company.

Side conversations and chatter knit us in a loose bond of semistrangers, gathered for a common purpose.

Eventually, we all gather at one table and conversations turn to tangents of that purpose. She's sitting across from me.

I become engrossed in conversation about a subject that really interests me. It's a subject few people would have noticed.

But my conversation companion is glad to know someone noticed and appreciated what I saw. We become deeply involved in the subject, to the point where others' attention is drawn to us. Now, just about everybody's listening to my companion's perspective.

After awhile, other subjects surface. But we're focused directly on the project now.

Questions arise about logistics, methods, organizing.

She knows. She begins to speak.
Everyone quiets to hear her.

I listen to her war stories, her suggestions, her insights, her opinions of the purpose.

She's right. Nobody questions her authority. The only questions are for clarity.

She holds us in her experience for most of the gathering.

Her words unfold realities we hadn't begun to consider. Suddenly, everybody knows this purpose is very important. We become excited and more committed to making it happen.

I watch her. Lashes flutter. Hands gesture. Lips purse.

She's funny. She's perceptive. She's very organized. She's realistic. She's passionate. She's not cynical, in spite of it all.

I always think she's beautiful.

Tonight, she shimmered and pulsed and twinkled.

Tonight, she danced and swayed and balanced.

Tonight, she was so pretty!

As we parted, her face changed.

She looked openly into my eyes, happy with me. Her face opened into a warm glow.

This magnificent, powerful creature was smiling, like that, at me!